The key changes to student visas are as follows:
- The Student visa route applies to both non-EEA and EEA nationals who wish to come to the UK to study.
- The list of countries which are exempt from the requirement to provide an ATAS certificate (see below) has been extended to include EEA countries and Switzerland.
- You can apply for your visa up to six months before the start of your course if you are applying from outside the UK (see above).
- There is no longer a time limit on studying courses at postgraduate level but the 5 year limit for degree level courses still remains.
- You are not required to provide evidence of academic qualifications used to obtain sponsorship if you will be studying at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance.
- The rules in relation to switching to a Student visa from within the UK have been expanded (see below).
- There are now more ways in which you are able to satisfy the English language requirement (see below).
- There are also more ways in which you can satisfy the maintenance/financial requirement (see below).